Changes to Access for Pre-Production Connect Care Environments

There is an important change to how Connect Care physician-informaticians (medical informatics leads, design leads, super users, trainers, builders, etc.) access the emerging clinical information system (CIS) in support of demonstrations, training, validation and other activities.

The "Production" (PRD) and "Pre-Production" (POC, SBX, PLY, TRN, TST, etc.) environments, until today, were access through a Citrix portal (with differences for intranet and external access). As of today, Production and Pre-Production environment access diverges. We rapidly approach the time when end-users will be using the "unified access portal" (UAP, or "myapps") to gain access to all Alberta Health Services (AHS) clinical information assets. These include Connect Care as well as Netcare and legacy CISs (e.g., eCLINICIAN, SCM, Meditech). Today's changes are part of that preparation.

To keep things stable and simple, we continue to provide user-friendly shortcuts for physicians:
Also note that the Physician Handbook (handbook.connect-care.ca) will continue to have physician tip sheets addressing topics like access. The Handbook is intended for our physician informaticians (leaders, superusers, area trainers, CSD participants, etc.). A new Physician Manual will be released soon, in time to address physician-specific support needs for users.


IT Stakeholder Cheat-Sheet Updated

Alberta Health Services Information Technology (IT) maintains a helpful listing of key contacts for organizational liaison. This may also be useful to physician informaticians wondering who to contact for questions about Connect Care impacts on different groups.

We keep a copy of the IT Stakeholder Cheat Sheet in the physician handbook:


Where are physicians in the Connect Care readiness playbooks?

Alberta Health Services (AHS) leaders have a major role to play in supporting staff and helping prepare for Connect Care’s launch. They, in turn, are supported with guidance, resources and facilitation by a Connect Care Readiness Team. This is a systematic process, tapping change management best practices and the accumulated experience of many organizations that have implemented large-scale clinical information systems. The steps, actions, tools and expected outcomes at each stage of preparation are detailed in a "Readiness Playbook", with sequential chapters covering what is needed for each Connect Care wave leading up to launch.

The Connect Care Readiness Playbook is rich with wisdom and pragmatism. However, the readiness needs of physician and non-physician staff have important differences. Physicians skimming the Playbook may find it hard to see themselves in the prescribed work, or find it hard to imagine how to translate tasks when they work in settings that are not staffed by AHS employees.

The AHS Chief Medical Information Office is mindful of such differences. Playbook-compatible readiness supports are adjusted to suit the different circumstances of different physician communities.

The Connect Care Readiness Playbook does contain a lot of physician-appropriate information and physician informaticians can better help their leaders when aware of readiness constructs. Physician leader considerations in the Playbook are marked with a physician tag. The CMIO team additionally summarizes Playbook deliverables for physicians, keyed to each chapter.

Physician reporting is also handled differently. The CMIO portfolio facilitates use of surveys that are disseminated directly to affected physician leaders.


Please Promote Patient Movement Day

Patient movement day offers a unique opportunity for clinicians to take a practical look at what in-patient journeys will look like in Connect Care.

All physicians, prescribers, nurses, allied health and other staff are encouraged to attend. They can see and learn about how complex patient movements are coordinated with clinical information system (CIS) tools and workflows. Morning demonstrations illustrate how Connect Care will facilitate the sequence of events that must occur for patients to flow safely and efficiently from emergency to ward, critical care, surgery, diagnostic imaging and other investigation and intervention venues. In the afternoon, drop-in practice centers (including a physician practice center) allow participants to dig deeper, view more specific workflows, ask questions and practice different patient movement scenarios.

Wave 1 Patient Movement Day occurs Wednesday September 18, 2019 from 08:30 to 16:00, with scenario explorations and demonstrations in the morning and practice activities in the afternoon. A more detailed agenda will follow, allowing physicians to focus on the transitions most relevant to their practice.

Physician and Medical Informatics Leads should promote awareness of patient transitions as a high-risk readiness challenge. Some will help as Champions. All should be aware of the guide (see Byte below) and contemplate how to best prepare for smooth post-launch patient movement in their clinical area.


Clinical Content Stability pre-Launch

August 2, 2019 brought us another massive accomplishment... completion of specialty Clinical System Design (CSD) build. A huge thank you to all CSD participants!

We are thrilled that 99% of tasks were fulfilled, with the remaining few waiting on things like medication checks. This allows specialty content validation to progress and keeps us on track the November 2019 Wave 1 launch.

Specialty CSD focus shifts to validation, training and change management. Our clinicians and experts are re-mobilized to ensure that what is built matches what was intended. And the build team must juggle other build tasks with fixes flagged through validation.

Stability is our new target. Training and readiness work (e.g., workflow walkthroughs, patient journey reviews, etc.) needs solid clinical content. Accordingly, the Connect Care team cannot act upon new specialty requests until when post-launch CSD optimization initiates about 4 months from now.

Of course, some clinically essential content may have been missed. And all good content design ideas need to be recorded. Every effort will be made to address critically important missed content pre-launch. However, all CSD requests must be presented, considered and approved through Area Councils and Specialty Workgroups. Their support units continue to ensure that requests are well characterized, then entered to the Connect Care Tracker. Pre-launch, wave-1-essential requests must also be reviewed and cleared by the CCC coordinating support unit (CSU).

Validation of content continues through August and September. Launch-ready content is then locked down until CSD optimization starts post-launch. Again, this is critically important to training and readiness deliverables. All medical informatics leads and other prescriber leaders are asked to support this need.

Please relay any questions to ccc-suppport@ahs.ca


Another Training Milestone - First MD group through basic training.

We are delighted to see the first group of Wave-1 physicians complete their basic training!

12 paediatricians worked with a physician trainer and 2 physician super users to progress through a curriculum customized to their typical workday, work setting and clinical tasks. The training environment worked well and everyone was able to progress through the planned tasks. All participants were appropriately allocated the right Connect Care applications. And it was clear that physicians training physicians is appreciated.

Of course, we noted ways in which the experience could be improved. The trainers' learnings are summarized, shared and used to tweak the next set of training sessions.

In particular, we are very aware of some challenges with the MyLearningLink learning management system. The recommended self-directed modules are not filtering correctly, with the result that physicians see all possible modules when checking "Required Courses", not the ones that pertain to their track. We are putting together supplementary QuickStart guides to help the next wave of trainees to pick out what matters most.

Huge thanks to our first participants, and to the Connect Care training team. We're finding our stride!


Learning about Clinical Inquiry Opportunities within Connect Care

We've previously posted about how Connect Care in-system inquiry tools can help AHS grow as a learning healthcare organization.

The Connect Care Clinical Inquiry Newsletter offers an excellent way for those interested to keep updated about developing capabilities, supports and processes related to clinical inquiry. There are many applications, including personal practice reviews, quality assurance, quality improvement, clinical research and process optimization.

The Newsletter releases monthly. For those interested in the same content via shorter but more frequent communications, subscribe the Clinical Inquiry Blog

With our current emphasis on training, change management and readiness, the Newsletter is full of great information about courses, webinars and emerging key contacts.